For the first time in two years there will be a new recipient of the Norris Eastman Scholarship at the University of Richmond.
The scholarship, established in 1996 by memorial gifts given in Norris Eastman's name, originally was created to benefit a University of Richmond student studying health and sports science. More recently, the criterion of the scholarship was changed to benefit a student who shares Eastman's interests and passions in the health and wellness field, said Tracy Cassalia, manager of health education and wellness.
The scholarship ranges from $7000 to $8000, Cassalia said.
Eastman began working at the university in 1972 as an assistant professor in the health and sports sciences department, and as coach for the men's swim, diving and water polo teams. He worked at Richmond until he fell ill in October 1995. Eastman passed away in May 1996.
"He loved everything about being a teacher," said Eastman's daughter Jackie McClellan, Westhampton College '83. "He loved his students and he was their advocate."
The scholarship came about as an idea from former students, swimmers and friends who adored Eastman and wanted to do something for him, she said. Because her father was passionate about education, the scholarship was a good fit, she said.
A committee of some of Eastman's friends, family and Richmond personnel came together and worked on the idea until it became an endowed scholarship, McClellan said.
"We feel it is a great tribute to the teacher, coach and man that he was," McClellan said.
The scholarship is a way of maintaining Eastman's commitment to the university and recognizing everything he did to make it a great place for students, Cassalia said.
About 15-20 students applied for the scholarship this year, Cassalia said. As part of the application, students wrote a three-page philosophy statement about what wellness meant to them and what impact it had on their lives, she said.
Requirements for an applicant include someone who has a health focus, participates in health and wellness extracurricular activities and who is a member of a varsity, club or intramural team, Cassalia said. They must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and display good citizenship, she said.
The recipient of the scholarship receives earnings awarded through the Office of Financial Aid as a tuition scholarship, Cassalia said.
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Senior David Burchard was the last recipient of the scholarship, having received it his sophomore year, and keeping it ever since.
As long as the recipient maintains satisfactory academic citizenship and is still a fit candidate for the award, the scholarship will be renewed each year until the student graduates, Cassalia said.
McClellan, her mother Beverley Eastman and brothers Skip Eastman and Scott Eastman, Richmond College '85, will review the applications with staff of the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness to decide who will receive the scholarship.
"We pick someone we think my father would've really loved," McClellan said. "So far we have been really pleased."
Each year a luncheon is held with the recipient of the award and Eastman's family. This year a decision will be made for the recipient of the award by the end of April, Cassalia said.
Contact reporter Brooke Knetzger at firstname.lastname@example.org
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